What Dragons Read

Chinese classics, bound in bronze,
bejeweled, inscribed on gold sheets,
displayed in pride of place:
Sun Tzu, Confucius, Mencius,
Wu Cheng'En, the Book of Rites,
the Spring and Autumn Annals.

Reference works in microfilm:
the Journal of Metamorphic Geology,
Jane's All the World's Aircraft,
the Financial Times 1888-present,
the Encyclopedia Britannica, histories,
astronomical catalogs, aerial maps.

And hidden in their bedchambers,
amid the gems and precious metals
heaped beneath them as they drowse,
the scuffed and smoke-stained pages
of Balzac, Conan Doyle, Dumas,
and troves of Regency romances.

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